The “plumbers” were a task force who worked for President Richard Nixon to stop classified information from getting out and gather information on political enemies. They were known as plumbers because of their attempts to plug leaks out of the White House.
The plumbers were involved in many covert and illegal activities, from stealing information to discredit the leak of the Pentagon Papers to the Watergate burglary. The agents worked to protect the Committee for the Re-Election of the President as well.
Time ranks the activities of Nixon’s plumbers as one of the top 10 abuses of power of all time. Although Nixon denied knowledge of the plumbers activities, tapes subpoenaed during the Watergate investigation revealed years of political espionage and illegal surveillance.